Dara Torres - Secrets For Staying YoungPosted on Sep 3rd 2009 12:00PM by Holly St. Lifer
|Photo: Andrea Cross|
While everyone knows 43-year-old Dara Torres is a five-time Olympian, here are two other amazing facts about her: On August 1, 2007, just 15 months after giving birth to her first child at age 40, Torres won the gold in the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Nationals. Then three days later, she twice broke her own American record in the 50-meter freestyle that she had originally set 26 years before. I caught up with her in the midst of her latest project, BP's Younger for Longer Challenge, to find out more about it and to learn how she stays in such stellar shape.
That's Fit: What was your impetus for this project?
Dara Torres: I've always maintained that age is just a number, and we should never put an age limit on our dreams. This is a contest that perpetuates that message. It reaches out to both men and women encouraging them to share their ideas in an essay about what keeps them young and healthy. (The winner wins $10,000 worth of BP gasoline with invigorate, a new formula designed to help keep cars running longer, and a one-on-one with Dara. Click here to enter.)
TF: What's the single most essential aspect of your life that you feel keeps you youthful?
DT: Fitness. It's always been a part of my life. My daughter's only 3, but I already have her taking gymnastics, dance and swimming classes. It doesn't have to be a purposeful workout, you just need to get out there and move, even if it's just a brisk daily walk. Exercise not only makes you feel younger, it relieves stress, and you automatically look better. It's a win-win.
|Photo: Andrea Cross|
TF: Do you have a favorite anti-sagging move that really delivers results?
DT: My behind needs a little extra attention, and I swear by this move: Prop a small stability ball up against a wall. Lie on your back facing the ball with your butt against it, arms at sides, feet on ball, knees apart. Lift your butt, hold for a beat as your bring knees together and then lower to start. Do three sets of 15 reps.
TF: Do you fight the aging process or embrace it?
DT: It's hard to accept the fact that I'm not 20 years old with that same body, but I have learned to go with the flow. That I can be at a certain level that's going to keep me in good shape without worrying about injury. And if I do feel a twinge, I back right off. I don't push it -- which I tended to do when I was younger.
TF: What about your personality? Do you possess certain traits that affect your enduring vitality?
DT: I don't dwell. I learn from negative situations, and then I move on. A lot of woman ruminate, and that can really wear you down. I'm a very positive person, so yes, I think that's significant. I always look at the bright side.
Find out more about how Torres trained so successfully post-pregnancy.
Have you made peace with the aging process? If so, write to me and let me know what you've learned to embrace -- from wrinkles to spider veins -- and how.